21 August 2007

Ban Pako

A few friends decided they wanted to go away for their birthdays, so we went to Ban Pako. It is an eco-lodge 50km from Vientiane where people go to relax by the river. We left on Friday night and got most of the way there until our drivers refused to go further. We stopped at a village and negotiated a boat trip for the rest of the way there. A boat in the dark, rain did not sound like a good idea. But luckily the rain stopped and the boats didn’t go to fast. One boat was a catamaran which was made of 2 long wooden boats with wooden slats on top of them.

During the bus ride I saw a couple of monkeys in the back of a truck. One was balancing on the edge of the tray, but the other was safe inside the tray. We also saw some young frog hunters! After the rain people get out their torches and collect frogs to be sold for food at the markets.

We had arranged a buffet dinner at Ban Pako which was really good. There was no electricity that night, because there was not enough sun on the solar panels that day. So the 15 of us had a candlelit dinner. The rest of the weekend I mainly lounged around on the bamboo hammocks reading books. I went to the herbal sauna. Whilst in the sauna, a friend had a small scorpion scramble across his foot. There is a spring to sit in after the sauna which is gorgeous.

Unfortunately, Ban Pako had sold out of medicinal Lao whiskey for sale. Luckily the guy managing the sauna pulled out a sapling for a friend of mine, roots and all. The staff at Ban Pako kindly helped my friend cut up the whole sapling and infuse it in his $5 bottle of vodka. I wasn’t game to try it.

1 comment:

Caitlin said...

how much was your stay at ban pako?
also, what are you doing working in Laos for a year? I just got back from a trip over there and would love to go back with a purpose.